Friday, June 10, 2005

Everybody’s a Freaking Genius

At least they are after they pass on.

This morning on the news there was this tragic story about a poor woman who died from a melanoma. It was a surprise to everyone. Especially her. Even though her sister had already battled the cancer.

They made it a point to let us all know that she was an intelligent woman. She had a college education and everything. They were afraid that we, the news-watching public, would jump to the horrible conclusion that she was some kind of cancer-ignorant melanoma-dummy.

I’m sure that no one was thinking that. Even though, even after her sister got skin cancer, she still never bothered to check herself for the very same illness.

Hey, I can relate. I would have done the same thing. My entire family could be killed by skin cancer and, after I got done being incredibly bummed out, I’d hit the beach without even thinking about sunscreen. It’s true. I probably would. Then again, I’m no genius.

Oh, who am I kidding, I am too.

But it wasn’t the terribly sad story that got to me. What happened to this woman was tragic. And her mother’s now fighting the good fight to raise melanoma awareness. Good for her.

The thing that made me take notice was the whole “she had a college education” thing.

Newscasters always bring up a person’s education. I suppose it’s to let all of us college educated folk know that “it could happen to you…yes you…the loser on the couch with a double BA in Theatre Arts.”

It’s like that pretty white girl that went missing in Aruba. They made a huge to-do about her grades. “She was an honor student blah, blah, blah…” “She would never have done something as stupid as get into a stranger’s car…willingly.”

You’re right. Any 18-year-old girl who travels to Aruba in order to be able to get her way into a bar would never do something stupid. And those chaperones that took a group of high school girls to get drunk in the Caribbean – well, I’m sure they’re the most responsible chaperones in the world.

My point is that I wish when people went missing or were horribly massacred or whatever that the news people wouldn’t inundate us with their resumé. We don’t care…do we?

I suppose it’s interesting and all. I suppose if they find that poor Aruba girl alive and well, she can use her impressive credentials and hype to get into a great college.

“Hi, Harvard admissions? Yeah, I’m that girl that went missing in Aruba…oh yeah…I’m fine…sure, I’ll be scarred for life but…anyways, the reason I was calling y’all was – well heck – can I go to school there with y’all? It would make me happier than a hound under the supper table. Matt Lauer said I was really bright and have a stellar future ahead of me. Don’t make Matt Lauer into a liar!”

Her name is Natalee Holloway by the way. I don’t want to appear insensitive. I hope they find her. I hope she’s safe. And so does the rest of the world. After all…she’s Alabama hot.

Seriously, though, would it have made any difference if Natalee had dropped out of school in the 3rd grade?

Yes, it would.

She wouldn’t be all over the news if that was the case. Not here anyway. There would be this horrible underlying feeling that the “idiot-girl” had somehow brought it all on herself. If only she had stayed in school…

Crime happens to everyone. It doesn’t care if you’ve studied the complete works of William Shakespeare. In fact, nobody cares about that. Not even William. He studied his own works and look where it got him! Dead, that’s where.

It doesn’t make the crime worse that it happened to an honor student. And some of the biggest idiots I’ve ever met in my life I met in college. Hell, I graduated with honors…and one time I put plastic in the toaster!

But crime can be made to be sexy. Tragedy can be spun to be somehow more tragic. And irony can be found even where it never existed.

“Tragically, we have another victim of skin cancer to discuss this morning. Unbelievably beautiful, 1991 Falls High School valedictorian Jane Whatshername doubled over one day in pain. She didn’t know what was happening. Sadly, it was skin cancer…and it was too late to stop it.

Ironically, she has had skin all her life…”

Fun Fact: The latest TAM Cartoon is up! Skinsational!

And a language becomes extinct in this world every two weeks. It's a fact.

Luckily, the random moron witnesses they interview on the morning news every time a cop shoots someone here in LA (about everyday now) are busy creating their own out of the vowel sounds from things they might have once heard someone say.

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